Sunday, November 27, 2005


Bullying - British-style

This disturbing image to your left depicts two naked British Royal Marines who were forced to fight each other in a bullying incident that has rocked the British Army.

Film footage obtained by the News of the World shows one of the men being beaten unconscious - because he complained that he didn't want to fight any more.

"It is some form of initiation ceremony. It is clearly booze-fuelled," said former Commander of British forces in Bosnia, Colonel Bob Stewart.

"It is absolutely wrong and horrific, simply because this is not what our soldiers should be undergoing."

"Why are they naked, for goodness' sake?"

Former Liberal Democrat MP and ex-Marine John Burnett said the episode was "repugnant to generations of Royal Marines".

The Conservative party's spokesman for homeland security Patrick Mercer said he had come across this sort of thing occasionally during his 26 years in the Army.

"I can't tell you how damaging it is," he said.

"Just imagine a young man turning up in his unit and being made to wrestle naked in a field while his non-commissioned officers are dressed up in women's frillies. I mean, it's not very dignified stuff, is it?"

The BBC details in full the 'naked ritual':

Twelve soldiers who had just finished their 32-week commando training were alleged to have taken part in the initiation ritual, while around 40 other marines - also stripped naked - watched.

The fight appears to have been "directed" by two non-commissioned officers. One was dressed in a surgeon's outfit, the other dressed as a schoolgirl.

The marine who filmed the alleged fight told the newspaper the ritual had been more than drunken antics and that the protagonists were forced to fight in a humiliating manner.

The images show two naked men in the centre of a large group. At first the pair appear to fight with large mats rolled round their arms.

But then a man dressed in a blue surgeon-style outfit motions for them to use bare fists.

When one of the soldiers complains, the man appears to kick him in the face, allegedly leaving him unconscious on the grass.

An MoD spokesman said: "The Royal Marines take these allegations extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and harassment."

I think this is absolutely appalling stuff. To put young British men through this kind of thing is disgraceful. Is it any wonder that British soldiers tend to get such a bad reputation? It seems like a bad attitude is being instilled in these men!

You can watch the footage in action on the News of the World's site here. (warning - contains scenes of violence and nudity)


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